Digging Deeper in Proverbs 15(b) – Living on Purpose


Proverbs 15:24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.

A concept revisited over and over in Proverbs is that of seeing life as going somewhere, not just being lived. The Bible never sees mere existence as legitimate for human beings. We are meant to be people of purpose.

The naturalistic worldview posits that all of human life – indeed all of life period is nothing more than a cosmic accident. That there is no rhyme or reason to anything existing, let alone human life as distinct not only from other organic life – but any other substance. We are simply an animated substance and that, by chance.

It was Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays – 1849) who wrote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” And if the naturalistic worldview is correct, there is no other way to live life. It began without purpose, prattles along without purpose, and ends without purpose. Even Thoreau’s “song” has no purpose, other than meaningless self-expression. Little more than the belch from a well fed stomach.

How far from this is the Biblical worldview. The “prudent” live a life that is leading “upward.” It is the picture of one on a journey with a deliberate termination point – and that, beyond “Sheol” or the grave. The one who has had their eyes opened to the reality of the living God and our relationship to Him first in creation and then redemption in Jesus Christ – has set their sights on arriving in His presence as their goal. Nothing ought to be quietly desperate about us – but every moment infused with hope and the knowledge that having been created in God’s image, and for those in Christ, in the process of being re-created in that image – this is but one stage of the journey. Determinative certainly, but final – never.

There was an old poem later put into song which carried the refrain:

There’s a Heaven to gain, and a Hell to shun;
The way is still straight, there’s a race to be run.
You can live as you please, but you must pay the cost;
And the highway to Heaven still goes by the cross.

That’s true. And the Prudent live their lives knowing it.

Let me ask you, are you deliberately going to Heaven? Living your life on purpose, or just existing?

One thought on “Digging Deeper in Proverbs 15(b) – Living on Purpose

  1. Really like:
    “….first in creation, then….” Seemingly sad that we need reminders, like the one you have written, but I sure do.

    Also…..enjoyed reading the word “prattles.”

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